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How does standard DirecTV look on a 16x9 projection HDTV?

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How does standard DirecTV look on a 16x9 projection HDTV?

Old 06-24-03, 08:08 AM
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How does standard DirecTV look on a 16x9 projection HDTV?

I'm looking to buy a new HDTV and after reading about them all over the place, there's one problem that concerns me:

How do standard (meaning, not HD) DirecTV broadcasts look on a HDTV? Is is entirely dependent on cabling, signal strength, and the TV itself?

It's going to be a while before I upgrade to HD, mainly because I'm waiting for the HD DirecTiVos to be released.

My TV watching is about 60/40 with 60% on satellite and 40% on DVDs. I know the DVDs will look awesome, but am concerned over the quality of TV shows (and the stretching to 16x9 from a 4x3 broadcast)

If anybody can answer the question based on DirecTV and the Sony KP-46WT500, that would be the greatest help.

One more question: I've also read projection HDTVs might be a dying breed. Is this true?

I'm asking the question in the TV forum, because I hope to get a wider range of answers here.
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Old 06-24-03, 08:36 AM
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Signal strength (on your end) doesn't matter; unless it's pixellated, it's all or nothing. However, different channels get different amounts of bandwidth, so some will look better than others. The pay channels always look best. ESPN looks like crap. Trio is painful. Overall, though, I don't think it's that bad. You're blowing up an imperfect image, so the imperfections are more magnified, but you get used to it pretty quickly.

As for the specific model of RPTV, each one will look different, so you should really do a lot of in-store comparisons yourself, looking specifically at the stretch modes. I wouldn't want to be without my Mits' "Stretched" mode, which is a progressive horizontal stretch that leaves the central image pretty intact and stretches a lot on the sides, giving a wide-angle effect.

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Old 06-24-03, 08:49 AM
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Thanks das
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Old 06-24-03, 09:33 AM
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I've got a 48" Mits and I use the stretch mode too. It definitely takes some getting used to, but after awhile you won't really notice. Although I do notice when I switch from HD or DVD how much better those two sources look (obviously).
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Old 06-24-03, 10:35 AM
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I'm thinking of picking up a big screen soon (say 65"), and have heard from many sources that Mitsubishi is the way to go. Any suggestions or tips from you Mits owners? I know to avoid Best Buy as they sell scaled back versions of the Mits models...how about Circuit City?
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Old 06-24-03, 10:40 AM
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I'm a generation removed from the current stuff, but I've been happy with my Mits. I got mine at the Big Screen Store (aka the Mits Store) where I could be assured of getting exactly what I wanted without having to deal with Circuit *****ty (a company I'll never trust). The little I've seen and heard about the newest models speaks well for the product. They've addressed all the minor issues I have with mine and added new features. Unless the Pioneer Elite is much cheaper now, I assume it's still the most popular choice.

AVS Forum is probably the best place to ask questions.

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Old 06-24-03, 11:35 AM
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I have the JVC 48" I-ART and you have the "panorama" viewing option which basically takes 4x3 standard programming and stretches it to fit the screen. You hardly notice the difference.

Only when you watch CNN or MSNBC does it cut of the ticker tape at the bottom but those get annoying to read after a while anyways

PS hdtv programming like CSI,CSI MIAMI and dvd's look fabulous on my set
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Old 06-24-03, 11:38 AM
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I have a 65" widescreen Mits and am very happy with it. You will need to do some tweaking because the factory settings are awful.

I used Home Theater Spot as a great site for this tweaking info.

I use DirecTV for my primary source and as already mentioned, you quickly adjust to the appearance of it.

I use my Zenith DTV1080 for the panoramic stretch mode which I prefer over the Mits version. The Zenith also improves on the SD
channel quality by some sort of upconversion.

Waiting for the Tivo makes perfect sense if you have patience. My Tivo was not compatible and I do miss it!
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Old 06-24-03, 11:44 AM
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Keep in mind that those HD DirecTiVos will enter the marketplace at what's sure to be an insane price point. I'm guessing in the neighborhood of $1000.

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Old 06-24-03, 12:06 PM
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Without knowing the hard drive space, I guess it's hard to truly comment on a $1000 price tag. I heard it's 8-9g/hour for Hi-Def TiVo-ing, so the hard drive will have to be huge.

But, $1000 isn't all that insane considering how much the basic HD receivers cost ($600) as well as the DirecTiVo ($200).

I'll bet we won't be getting dual tuners though.......
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Old 06-24-03, 01:01 PM
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With an S-video connection, DirecTV looks GREAT on my 47" WS HDTV. I, too, use the "panoramic" mode and got used to it very quickly. Love it.
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Old 06-24-03, 02:28 PM
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It looks great in the "TheaterWide" mode on my 50" Toshiba 50 H82. I liked the look of that stretch mode better than any of the other sets I looked at.

I also got mine through Onecall.com.

I paid $2000 for the set and a 3-year service plan with free shipping. Best Buy was charging $2000 for the set (without free delivery and an additional $400 for the service plan.)

I was worried about getting something that big from the internet but it was a great transaction and the company was a breeze to deal with. Even gave me tips on how to set it up once I got it. I'd recommend looking into using them.
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Old 06-24-03, 02:43 PM
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For what it's worth, I too would recommend OneCall for large and/or expensive home theater stuff. My experiences with them have been very positive.

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Old 06-25-03, 08:13 AM
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Originally posted by Draven
It looks great in the "TheaterWide" mode on my 50" Toshiba 50 H82. I liked the look of that stretch mode better than any of the other sets I looked at.

I also got mine through Onecall.com.

I paid $2000 for the set and a 3-year service plan with free shipping. Best Buy was charging $2000 for the set (without free delivery and an additional $400 for the service plan.)

I was worried about getting something that big from the internet but it was a great transaction and the company was a breeze to deal with. Even gave me tips on how to set it up once I got it. I'd recommend looking into using them.
Thanks for the info. I checked out hometheaterspot.com and they recommended onecall.com as well.


I went to Circuit City yesterday to look at a few models. How bad is it when a n00b HDTV guy like me knew more than the sales rep?

He was showing me an RCA model for $1700 and told me it included a HD tuner. The RCA model on sale for $2200 does, not that one.

He also told me only one of their models included DVI, when I know the Sony I've been reviewing and went there to check out does in addition to the one he pointed out. I wouldn't doubt more models than just those two include it.

Two blunders in less than 2 minutes??
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Old 06-25-03, 11:38 AM
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I have a 58 inch Pioneer Elite projection HD TV and my DirecTV (using S-Video) looks pretty nice on most of the stretch modes. I am very picky on video quality (not very picky at all on audio quality though) and love the dvd and HD picture (obviously).

The TIVO Directv looks fine and is not a distraction. I do recommend doing some real research and deciding what you want, and how much you can afford as you get what you pay for with expensive TVs. Many of the TVs that will do a real good job on DirecTV with stretch modes will be significantly more expensive than your regular $2000 projection tv at Best Buy or Circuit City. Best of luck.
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Old 06-25-03, 11:45 AM
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Originally posted by johnglad
I have a 58 inch Pioneer Elite projection HD TV and my DirecTV (using S-Video) looks pretty nice on most of the stretch modes. I am very picky on video quality (not very picky at all on audio quality though) and love the dvd and HD picture (obviously).

The TIVO Directv looks fine and is not a distraction. I do recommend doing some real research and deciding what you want, and how much you can afford as you get what you pay for with expensive TVs. Many of the TVs that will do a real good job on DirecTV with stretch modes will be significantly more expensive than your regular $2000 projection tv at Best Buy or Circuit City. Best of luck.
I've certainly heard plenty of people talking up the Elites, but I don't really want to give up a kidney for it.
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Old 06-25-03, 08:51 PM
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I also had a very good experience with a purchase that I made from Onecall.com. It was a high end DVD player at an excellent price. It arrived quickly and safely.

As far as the appearance of Tivo via S-Video on my HD set, I'd have to say that the DirecTV video from it really looks poor compared to the SD channels from my HD DirecTV (via component)set top box.

The compression of the Tivo signal is very noticable on a large digital set in my opinion.

My wife even noticed and stopped wanting to use it which meant giving up pause, rewind and commercial skip capabilities.
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Old 06-26-03, 09:11 AM
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Are any of the non-HDTV PPV movies in letterbox/widescreen?

(I'm not even going to ask about anamorphic widescreen)
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Old 06-26-03, 09:22 AM
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Originally posted by tsinbad
Are any of the non-HDTV PPV movies in letterbox/widescreen?

(I'm not even going to ask about anamorphic widescreen)
I don't normally order any PPV movies (if I have any intention of watching the movie, the DVD has already been bought or rented by that point), but I seem to remember some PPV movies are advertised as widescreen.
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Old 06-26-03, 10:42 AM
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My one and only caveat about buying from One Call is that you need to be damn sure you are buying what you want to keep because they have a poor return/refund policy.
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Old 06-30-03, 08:11 AM
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Well, I find out the answer to my own question starting tomorrow.

I bought a new Toshiba HDTV over the weekend and it'll be installed tomorrow.
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Old 06-30-03, 08:43 AM
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Congrats, Chew! Welcome to the 21st Century ... we've been waiting for you.

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Old 06-30-03, 03:08 PM
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Congrats. Post a follow-up when or if possible because that is always very helpful when people go searching through old threads looking for the same type of question and answer. Best of luck.
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Old 06-30-03, 03:54 PM
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Onecall is a pretty good place to buy from. I live just a couple miles from their HQ, so I can go cuss out the owner if I have a problem with the service
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Old 06-30-03, 04:53 PM
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Originally posted by Chew
Well, I find out the answer to my own question starting tomorrow.

I bought a new Toshiba HDTV over the weekend and it'll be installed tomorrow.
Which one did you end up going with?
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